Francesco Durante for Our Extractive Age Expressions of Violence and Resistance


“Our Extractive Age Expressions of Violence and Resistance”, edited by Judith Shapiro and John-Andrew McNeish is now published.

The book emphasizes how the spectrum of violence associated with natural resource extraction permeates contemporary collective life. It records the increasing rates of brutal suppression of local environmental and labor activists in rural and urban sites of extraction and recognizes related violence in areas we might not expect. Contributors argue that extractive violence—visible, symbolic, and structural—is not an accident or side effect, but rather it is a core logic of the 21st century planetary experience. This book also explores how much of the new violence of extraction has become cloaked in the discourse of “green development,” “green building,” and “green technologies,” which often depend on the continuance of social exploitation and the contaminating practices of non-renewable extraction. The volume also presents that resistance is as multi-scalar and heterogeneous as the violence it inspires.

In this volume, our Doctoral student Francesco Durante co-authored the opening chapter titled “Extraction and Extractivisms Definitions and Concepts”. The book is available in Open Access.

Francesco Durante is an invited speaker at a virtual event hosted by the University of Milan

On Tuesday 11th May, our Doctoral student Francesco Durante delivered a talk in Italian about the Northern Sea Route in a virtual event titled “ARTICO – La Contesa per il Grande Nord: politica, economia, nuove rotte e risorse”. Specifically, Durante’s presentation revolved around the current developments and future prospects for international cooperation of the Russian Federation.
The event was jointly organized by the Coordinating Research Centre for Foreign Policy and Public Opinion Studies of the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Milan, in collaboration with the Italian Association for the Studies of Central and Eastern Europe History (AISSECO), and the Interuniversitary Center for Hungarian Studies and for Studies on Central and Eastern Europe (CISUECO).

Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen takes part in a virtual seminar to discuss Russian energy culture, ecology and the environment in the far north.

Professor Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen took part in a virtual event on Friday 26th February, hosted by the Alaska World Affairs Council, to discuss hydrocarbon culture and ecological consequences of hydrocarbon production in the Arctic.

Professor Tynkkynen identified two major problems facing the Arctic: The first is the large percentage of oil spills that occur in Russia every year. A large share of the oil that is released into the environment ends up in Arctic rivers and the Arctic ocean while energy companies are not held accountable. The second issue is the large amount of flaring Russia is responsible for (approximately 25% of the world’s flaring). According to research, the black carbon (soot) produced from flaring accounts for up to 25% of Arctic warming.

You can watch the full seminar here

Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen discussing strengthening of Finnish-Estonian cooperation and EU-Russian relations concerning Nord Stream II

Professor Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen recently commented on the need to increase cooperation between Finland and Estonia as well as EU-Russia relations. His writing on Finnish-Russian relations appeared in Finnish in the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat and in Estonian in ERR. He was also interviewed with regard to EU-Russia relations in Finnish in Yle.

He argues that stronger Finnish-Estonian relations could on the one hand give more leverage towards the Russian Federation, but could also be beneficial for the European Union. Both countries, and Estonia even more, have broad expertise on Russian relations that is underused in the EU. On the other hand, although Finnish tourists travel to Estonia often and Estonians are the largest minority in Finland, deeper cultural and societal knowledge seems to have weakened especially among Finns.

Tynkkynen also highlights the lack of cooperation in Russian studies. Both Finnish and Estonian researchers seek widely partners abroad, but the same does not apply to mutual cooperation. Energy transition and climate policy, however, could be areas for mutual learning.

In Yle, 22.10 onwards, Tynkkynen, discussed EU-Russia relations in the context of Nordstream II pipeline and on the possibility of using sanctions against Russia specifically to energy infrastructure.

Sanna Kopra & Matti Nojonen for HS

Our team member Sanna Kopra together with Matti Nojonen, Professor of Chinese Culture and Society, University of Lapland, wrote a guest column in the Helsingin Sanomat “Uuden Silkkitien investoinnit vesittävät Kiinan ilmastotavoitteet” (Investments in the new Silk Road will water down China’s climate goals). In the column, Kopra and Nojonen argue, that in order to become the climate leader that China wants to be, its Silk Road project should break away from the fossil economy.

Read the full column in Finnish online.

Russian new giant icebreaker

Aamulehti published an article “Jättiläismäinen jäänmurtaja ei varmista vain arktista väylää, vaan myös Putinin valtaa – väistynyt pääministeri ehti vielä päättää maailman suurimman megajäänmurtajan rahoituksesta” (Giant icebreaker not only secures Arctic passage but also Putin’s power – the retired prime minister has yet to decide on funding for the world’s largest mega-icebreaker).

Lider icebreaker, which is larger than the Baltic Sea cruisers, should secure the North Sea Passage for large vessels all year round. According to the researcher, additional power is also needed for the use of power: Russia, and its leadership in particular, is heavily dependent on the fossil resources of the Arctic.

Professor Tynkkynen was approached for the comments:

Extra power is needed in the Arctic not just to break the ice. According to the investigator, Lider also secures passages in President Vladimir Putin’s “ocean”.

– The economic and political power of the Putin regime is intertwined with Arctic oil and gas. It is their own assurance, says Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen, Assistant Professor of Russian Environmental Policy at the University of Helsinki.

He points out that 70 to 80 percent of the country’s known oil and gas reserves are located in the Arctic. Due to the climate crisis, there is a growing opportunity to exploit them all the time.

You can read more about Russian Arctic plans and aspirations in this online article.

Al Gore’s climate leadership training in Minneapolis

Our doctoral candidate Karoliina Hurri was selected to participate in the Al Gore’s climate leadership training, which is organised from 2nd to 4th of August in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Training includes five key themes about just transition to clean energy which are discussed in workshops and panel discussions. At Climate Reality Leadership Corps trainings, individuals spend three days working with former Vice President Al Gore and world-renowned scientists and communicators learning about the climate crisis and its solutions. The training objective is to gain the skills, knowledge, and network to shape public opinion, influence policy, and inspire your community to act at this critical time.

The themes are:

1.    Wetter, Warmer, and More Humid – A Changing Midwestern Climate

2.    Agriculture and Climate – The Problem and the Solution

3.       Homegrown Climate Solutions Powering the Midwestern Clean Energy Economy

4.       Realizing Climate Justice in Historically Marginalized Communities

5.       Climate Leadership from the Bottom Up

More details can be found on project’s page

Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen on Russian landfill protests and Ivan Golunov’s arrest

Professor Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen participated yesterday in the Yle’s A-studio programme, where the topic of the discussion was “Venäjän kaatopaikkaprotestit haastavat poliittista järjestelmää” (Russian landfill protests challenge the political system).

Professor Tynkkynen and other guests – correspondent Marjo Näkki and secretary of the Finnish Section of Reporters without borders Jarmo Koponen, discussed, first, the arrest of Ivan Golunov, a prominent Russian journalist investigating and exposing corruption among Moscow officials, who wrote, among other things, about waste management problems in the region.

The central theme of the programme was Russian corruption in waste management, landfill crisis and the protests around it in Moscow and Arkhangelsk regions.

The topic was further developed in Yle’s article “Venäjän kaatopaikkaprotestit haastavat poliittista järjestelmää yhä suoremmin – mielenilmaukset ovat levinneet jo Putinin tukialueille” (Russian landfill protests increasingly challenge the political system – protests have spread to Putin’s strongholds).

Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen, Associate Professor in Russian Environmental Studies, Aleksanteri Institute, estimates that the protests are already threatening the establishment.

– The demonstrations in Moscow and Arkhangelsk are not just local protests, but through them they protest against the whole system. The fact that the whole system is based on the oligarchy. <…>

Environmental demonstrations are of particular interest because they had their own role in the break-up of the Soviet Union, reminds Associate Professor Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen. <….> In the early 1990s, environmental issues were one of the key themes of demonstrations, especially in the Baltic countries.

Like many other issues in Russia, the waste problem is facilitated by the corruption. According to Professor Tynkkynen,

<.. the waste business in Russia is a mafia corrupt activity, where the waste business is run by business conglomerates connected to local administration. They get good income from the municipalities but do not follow any standards. These practices are difficult to break even if Putin says something.

Full version of the article is available online.

STN:n luonnonvaraseminaari

Strategic Research Council‘s seminar on natural resources is taking place today in Helsinki, and Sakari Höysniemi from the Winland project is taking part in it. The seminar’s title is “Veden, ruoan ja energian globaali kysyntä ja sen merkitys Suomelle” (Global demand for water, food and energy and its importance for Finland).

The presentation made by Winland for the seminar can be downloaded here.